Running into death: Gaza woman risks her life to save another

The following four photographs depict a story of tragedy and courage deep inside the Gaza Strip. Captured on July 20, day one of Israel’s intense shelling of the densely-packed Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, the images show Palestinians running for their lives through the neighborhood’s rubble-filled streets.

As the woman in the photograph sprints ahead, she turns to spot a young boy injured on the ground. His left leg had been broken below the knee by a blast moments before the first image was captured.

The woman runs back toward the boy and helps him up, risking her life to save his. As recently uncovered footage from Shuja’iyya shows, the shelling was relentless.

Most sources identify the woman as the boy’s mother. In a recording of the aftermath of the blast, which was likely captured by a different camera operator and which we believe was filmed after these four sequential images were captured, the woman is seen shouting that her son is “gone” while aiding the injured boy. There is extreme despair in her voice, and her reaction could be a result of the boy falling to the ground for a second time as he tries to hop on one foot to safety. The woman continues to call for her son as she follows the injured boy into a cab to be transported to a hospital. We will be sure to update the post if any new details are confirmed.

Since Israel began its invasion of the Gaza Strip on July 8, over 600 Palestinians have been confirmed dead, including at least 147 children, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

There are 5 comments

  1. Melinda Huntley

    I can’t find the words to express the sorrow I felt in seeing this young man bleeding to death and the brave woman who helped save him. I very much appreciate learning the truth about what is happening in Gaza.

  2. nowisthebest

    This is just me genuinely wondering: why did the cameraman did not pick or help the young man up? I understand without the cameraman we wouldn’t have seen the pictures, but just wondering. However, very thankful that the woman and the second man helped him.
    As the previous posters said, thank you so much for these pictures. More people need to see them.

  3. Truth teller

    @nowiswiththebest – can u not hear the snipers firing on people as they are running? The man filming is trying to hide otherwise he will be shot too. The woman on the other hand is panicking because she can’t find her own son so has lost her sense of danger. People react differently in an emergency situation. The boys injury wasnt 100% clear from the begining so you can hear the man filmin telling him to hurry up and get out “imshi” as the snipers are coming and if they don’t kill them then I suppose the drones overhead will probably strike or some other war weapon…. It makes sense to me why he didnt help immediately as that is how he reacts.

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